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Common Errors in Written English: Monthly Anniversary

Is It Possible to Celebrate a Monthly Anniversary?

by Owen Fourie

A search for the term “monthly anniversary” reveals an amazing number of variations. It is used by people looking for gifts, ideas, cards, messages, and quotes.

A keyword search shows an even greater number of variations. Out of a list of one hundred related phrases, here are eight:

  • monthly anniversary gifts
  • one month anniversary
  • 2 month anniversary gift ideas
  • 3 month anniversary
  • 5 month anniversary
  • 6 month anniversary ideas
  • 7 month anniversary poems
  • 11 month anniversary poems. (It would be better to exercise a little bit of patience and wait a month to have a true anniversary poem.)

Getting down to the Latin roots

The word anniversary comes from the Latin anniversārius which refers to something that returns every year. It comes from the Latin words annus (year) and vertere (to turn).

To use the term anniversary in conjunction with the word month is contradictory. Anniversary means the return of an annual event, not a monthly event.

Sadly, the pressure of popular (but mistaken) usage seems to bring allowance for this contradictory expression. At least one trusted dictionary refers to the broad usage of anniversary:

the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event; broadly : a date that follows such an event by a specified period of time measured in units other than years <the 6-month anniversary of the accident>”

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anniversary

A correct new word is better than misusing an existing word

It would be far better to invent a new word that actually means the return of an occasion by date in any month. This is not a new idea. It has been suggested by others who are concerned about the correct use of language.

Mensis is the Latin word for month. Perhaps the term mensiversary should be used.

Others have suggested the use of uncia which is the Latin for twelfth part, so we might have unciaversary.

Another suggestion is lunaversary, the Latin for moon being luna.

You can read about these suggestions here: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=287486

In your formal writing, be absolutely sure to use the term anniversary only as it means the return of a yearly event.

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Which term would you prefer to use instead of monthly anniversary? Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome.

Here are more articles to help you with English words, grammar, and essay writing.

Copyright © 2011 by English Essay Writing Tips www.englishessaywritingtips.com


2 comments

1 ping

  1. Online English Editing

    the results have prooved the fact that it’s all about marketing , you can see the word “gift” in most of the searches!

    1. English Essay Writing Tips

      Thanks for commenting. This is true. It is to be regretted that marketing has such an influence on the English language. “Monthly anniversary” should have been slain at birth. “Save big” is another instance of marketing’s corrupt effect: http://www.englishessaywritingtips.com/2011/04/common-errors-in-written-english-save-big/

  1. Anniversaries « Arnold Zwicky's Blog

    […] “the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event; broadly : a date that follows such an event by a specified period of time measured in units other than years <the 6-month anniversary of the accident>” (link) […]

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